Jim Plummer

Most people wonder if they will have enough money to retire comfortably, and many don’t really understand their investments, or know what they need to do to be prepared for their post-work years.

“It’s so complicated,” says James B. Plummer, wealth advisor with ILG Private Wealth. “People need help in retirement.”

Plummer, who goes by Jim, is an independent advisor representative (IAR), and ILG is a registered investment advisor (RIA). Jim says being an IAR — as opposed to working for a specific investment firm — means his primary responsibility is to put the client first.

“I’m paid differently than a broker dealer (which typically charges fees for trading securities such as stocks and bonds),” he explains. “I can work with whatever companies I want to, (the ones) that best suit my clients. We look at the whole picture, so the client sees how everything dovetails together to be prepared when they get to retirement age.”

That whole picture, he says, includes bonds, stocks, exchange traded funds (ETF), life insurance, long-term insurance, annuities (which is income for life) and other options.

While ILG Private Wealth is located in Pennsylvania, the company also has an office in Celebration, FL. Jim was working for the company in Pennsylvania when he and his wife of 44 years moved to Tampa Palms last October to be closer to family.

Jim goes into the Celebration office as needed, but his clients only deal directly with him. He typically visits a client’s home or work, where they have easy access to any paperwork they will need to go over with him. If a client prefers to come to Jim, he’ll gladly meet them at another location, such as the Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club.

A Little History…

Jim earned his B.S. degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI. He became an accountant, then was a chief financial officer for 30 years for two multimillion dollar corporations. He says that during that time, he saw the need for employees to get good advice when they were “handed a lot of money” at retirement, so he got licensed to begin a new phase of his career.

He says he has been an IAR for 18 years now, and that he has some clients who have been with him from the beginning.

Because of his background working in business, Jim is particularly interested in helping small business owners prepare for retirement.

“I’ve dealt with family business owners all my life,” Jim says. “I work with anybody who is interested, but my focus is on business owners.”

You Need An Expert

If you spend a few minutes talking with Jim, he’ll probably share some interesting tips that could help you retain more of your money in retirement. Here’s one example: 

“Most people probably have a 401(k) if they’re working, or maybe an IRA,” Jim explains. “If you look at how much money that investment is worth, it’s not all your money. The government will take taxes out before you get it.”

So, in some cases, he says, it might be more beneficial to put that money into a Roth 401k or Roth IRA. You pay taxes on it before you put the money in, but once you invest in a Roth, what you accumulate is all your money.

“There are no taxes when you take that money out,” says Jim. “There’s nothing on the growth and nothing on the principal.”

He says you can move money from a regular 401k to a Roth, but you want to move enough that you can afford to pay those taxes on it, but not so much that it puts you in the next tax bracket.

Sound confusing? It can be. That’s why Jim says you need someone like him to help you figure it out.

“We’re a planning organization,” says Jim. First and foremost, he gathers his clients’ information and focuses on finding out what their needs are: How long until you need your money? What do you want – or need – your money to do for you?

Then he shares more of those valuable tips. Here’s another one:

 “Make sure there’s enough money for you,” he says. “If you want to give your kids a bunch of money, do it through life insurance. You could give them an insurance policy that’s worth 10 times as much [as you could give them now]. You don’t know what life holds for you.”

Jim also reminds people to keep their beneficiaries updated, saying that the beneficiaries listed on a life insurance policy or other investment supersede any will or trust. As life changes, you may want to change beneficiaries.

He also can help you understand Social Security and the taxes related to Social Security benefits.

“Most people have more money in Social Security than they have saved for themselves,” he says. While full retirement is at age 66, should you take your Social Security benefits then? Or, should you wait until you’re age 70? Or later? Essentially, he says, “Social Security is paying 8 percent on that money. You can’t earn that on money in the investment markets right now.”

But, he notes that delaying when you take your Social Security still isn’t right for everyone, and Jim can help you figure out what’s best for you, your spouse and your family.

He offers these words of caution, however. “You’re stuck with that decision the rest of your life,” he says. “You can’t make a change once you’ve decided what to do.”

Jim says he helps many clients do a Social Security analysis to decide what’s the most beneficial time for each of them to take that money, whether that’s early, late, or a blend of both.

Webinars Can Help

Jim has a series of webinars that he offers to help educate people about  important financial topics, including how to plan for Social Security. Anyone, whether they are a client of Jim’s or not, can attend the sessions, which last about 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon the questions asked by the participants.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Jim says he would offer the educational seminars in person, but they are now available online only, in the comfort of your own home or office. He says the technology today to attend his webinars is so simple, that you just click a link to get connected to the Zoom meeting. So, even people who are not technologically savvy are easily able to attend.

Jim Plummer works remotely in Tampa Palms and will meet you at your home or business for a consultation. For more information, to register, or to discuss how Jim might be able to help you with your financial planning, call him at (814) — not 813 — 931-4271.

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